A recent study conducted by researchers at the University of Sherbrooke has uncovered a significant finding about the impact of natural hormones produced by women on their brain health. The study, published in the scientific journal Neurology by the American Academy of Neurology, suggests that the longer a woman is exposed to her natural hormones, the lower the risk of small blood vessels in her brain showing signs of disease.
The implications of these findings are far from insignificant, as healthy cerebral blood vessels can reduce the risk of experiencing strokes, cognitive disorders, and degenerative diseases. According to Professor-researcher Kevin Whittingstall, there is a clear link between hormones and the brain that needs further exploration. This message, he explains, has been overlooked for many years and needs to be reinforced.
Dr. Samantha Côté, who holds a Ph.D. in radiation science and biomedical imaging, noticed a connection between estrogen and progesterone production rates and blood flow in the brains of women during her research. This led her to question whether these hormone levels could have long-term effects.
To investigate further, the researchers examined data from 9,163 postmenopausal women in the UK Biobank. They calculated the number of years between the first menstruation during puberty and the last menstruation during menopause. They also considered other factors such as additional years for the number of pregnancies or subtracting years for the use of birth control medication.
Interestingly, each pregnancy seemed to have particularly beneficial effects. Professor Whittingstall highlights that hormone levels during pregnancy can become 400 to 500 times higher than during the menstrual cycle. The researchers found that women who had experienced one or two pregnancies had a stronger protective effect compared to those who had not given birth.
In conclusion, this study emphasizes the clear protective effect that natural hormones can have on women’s brain health. The findings provide valuable insights into the importance of hormones and their long-term impact on brain function. Further research in this area can lead to a better understanding of how hormonal factors may contribute to brain diseases and potentially pave the way for new preventive measures and treatments.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Q: What did the study by researchers at the University of Sherbrooke reveal?
A: The study revealed that women who are exposed to their natural hormones for a longer duration have a lower risk of small blood vessels in their brains showing signs of disease.
Q: What are the implications of these findings?
A: Healthy cerebral blood vessels reduce the risk of strokes, cognitive disorders, and degenerative diseases.
Q: Why is this research important?
A: This research highlights the link between hormones and the brain, an aspect that has been overlooked for many years.
Q: Who conducted the study?
A: The study was conducted by researchers at the University of Sherbrooke, including Professor Kevin Whittingstall and Dr. Samantha Côté, in collaboration with others.
Q: What is the significance of pregnancies in relation to hormone levels and brain health?
A: Pregnancy leads to significantly higher hormone levels compared to the menstrual cycle, and women who have experienced one or two pregnancies show a stronger protective effect on brain health.